‘Lottery’ by Heather Myers

— Hannah Cohen

I’m not sure what makes me sing

With a title like lottery, we automatically think of lucky (and unlucky) words such as victory, loss, chance, etc. However, Myers’ new poem, with its “notebooks full of figures and grief” and gambling, is more than just aiming to win prizes—it’s to cover up the loss of a family member, a son. We think of blue as a sad color, “unreliable” according to the speaker. However, this poem is far from sounding depressed or miserable. It’s touching in its bird imagery and the special moment, when the speaker “think[s] about the fractured robin’s egg…[h]ow it was there and then an hour later, not,” drives home the reality that we all face as human beings: people are here and then they’re not. And really, we’re all just “gambling to become someone who has something.”

Palette Poetry